Keeping Industry Running

Atlas Industrial Contractors
Written by Jessica Ferlaino

As a full-service industrial contractor, Atlas Industrial Contractors works to keep its customers’ operations running efficiently. The company is recognized for safety, quality and longstanding industry expertise.
For over sixty years, Atlas Industrial Contractors reputation for excellence and safety has increased, and it has been rewarded with a growing customer base that has supported its expansion.

The company is licensed to work in the US, Canada, and Mexico and has many locations from which it can serve this broad market. It has headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, with additional locations in Dayton, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Colorado, Alabama, Tennessee, and Mexico, to better serve those regions. Each of these regionally strategic locations has varied services that are geared to the industry-specific specialties of the markets and their customers.

“Atlas started in business in 1955, located in Columbus, Ohio and originally it was a small trucking and transportation company. In the early 1980s, due to the fact that Honda was building their plant in Marysville, Ohio, they got into the machinery and equipment installation, and that’s where it all fully started: in automotive” explained Atlas Industrial Contractors’ Vice President Ken Nord.

Honda helped to catalyze success for Atlas Industrial Contractors, and now nearly eighty percent of its business is comprised of automotive-related work. In 1982, Honda America entrusted Atlas to install its first automated, robotic, welding shop in North America.

“We are working on a daily basis, at almost all their facilities around the country. I would have to say that is a major contributing factor to the growth and success of the company over the decades,” said Nord.

“In automotive, we are pretty much full-service to all applications, but one of our strongest applications is the installation of tooling for all the automotive companies.” Atlas Industrial Contractors also works for the mining and minerals, food and beverage, manufacturing, general contracting, and energy sectors.

“We do a significant amount of body shops,” said Nord. “We’ve done several for General Motors – one in Arlington, Texas, where we’re actually on site right now doing a continuous maintenance program and also in Springhill, Tennessee, where we did another body shop.”

Companies such as Honda, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Owens Corning, Whirlpool, Peterbilt, Goodyear, BF Goodrich, and so many more have come to depend on Atlas Industrial Contractors.

The company provides dependable, on-time and cost-effective rigging, installation, electrical, piping and maintenance services. The capabilities and resources of its numerous body shops and welding shops as well as its general assembly, powertrain and stamping abilities, support major installations North America-wide.

Customers choose to work with the company because of “our overall expertise, our reputation for quality, completion on time – per the customers’ schedule – and also because of our outstanding safety record.”

And its safety record is indeed excellent. Atlas Industrial Contractors’ worker’s compensation experience modification rate (EMR) is .44. “In the machinery and equipment installation business, that’s pretty outstanding, and we take pride in that safety EMR.” An EMR of 1.0 is an industry average.

Atlas Industrial Contractors has reinforced this safety-first culture from the top. “It starts at the senior management and ownership level, and it goes down through the corporation, and we’re dedicated throughout the company with all the safety procedures to make sure that we have total awareness on a daily basis of what the best safety practices are.”

Atlas Industrial Contractors has received multiple awards that acknowledge its commitment to a safe worksite and the importance of a job well done. Among many others, it has been given Anheuser-Busch’s 2,000,000 hours award, Honda Manufacturing’s dedication to safety award, General Motors’ prestige safety award, Builders Exchange’s outstanding safety performance award, SC&RA’s zero-accident incident safety award, and National Safety Council’s outstanding safety performance award.

The company aims “to be the best service contractor we can to our customers to make sure that they understand that our main objective is to provide quality and good workmanship,” said Nord. And safety is key to achieving this objective.

“There is no question that safety – in our customers’ minds – is what is most important, and everybody has to be cognizant of that and make sure that they understand, including people in the field, that every incident – every recordable – affects our performance on the safety side.”

“We make sure that we meet the goals of our projects – the completion dates – but we’re not going to jeopardize safety,” he emphasized. This not only makes Atlas Industrial Contractors attractive to its customers, but it also makes it an employer that attracts and retains industry-leading talent who have become experts in the field.

Nord added, “We’re union contractors, so when we go and do work in certain parts of the country, then we have to go and recruit our people – our workforce – directly out of the union halls, and we make sure they go through a screening process.” Employees at every level of Atlas Industrial Contractors are vetted to ensure they fit with the culture of quality and safety.

“We honor good performance, but we do not tolerate bad performance,” Nord said. Atlas Industrial Contractors does its part to ensure that a positive and safe work environment and culture of success is fostered and adopted by each employee, company-wide.

To this end, it has developed a feedback loop for both its customers and its employees. The goal is to adopt a standard of continuous improvement as it strives to be the best in the market. “We’re just proactive,” Nord noted. “As far as employees’ input, we do lessons learned after each and every project; we make sure that we’re covering all the bases with our customers and meeting their needs.”

Atlas Industrial Contractors goes the distance to meet its customers’ needs, and sometimes that takes it in new directions. It has found itself completing an increasing number of projects in the aerospace sector – a market that shows great promise for the future.

“Our long-term goal – nationally – is to continue doing good projects and perform up to the standards of our expectations of our customers and maintain our safety record.”

“We’re forecasting now, in the next couple, there are all kinds of reports about the two-lane industry with the integrators for the automation industry, and we’re concentrating our efforts on trying to meet with all the OEMs to service their customers, making sure that we’re able to react to their needs as far as performance in the field.”

Atlas Industrial Contractors is a North American leader and will continue to bring quality and safety to the forefront of project delivery while being attuned to industry trends. The company can satisfy any industrial rigging, transportation, piping, electrical, installation or relocation need. It keeps both its customers and the industries to which they belong running efficiently.



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